Miles River Seafood
Buck Jarusek, from Frenchtown, MD - a tiny island at the end of a peninsula on the edge of Tangier Sound in Somerset County caught, sloughed and cleaned the “whales” and “slabs” (big soft shell crabs and bigger soft shells) that you have in your package this week. Buck is one of a literal handful of residents of the town – 10 – most of whom rely on the water for their livliehood. Buck grew up on the Bush River in the seafood business – according to him, he had a boat before he had a bicycle. Knowing how hard the life of a waterman can be, Buck’s parents did not want him to follow in the family footsteps so Buck went to college, got a degree in wildlife management but somehow always made his way back to the water. He finally settled in Frenchtown where he now resides with his wife, two dogs and a cat. In addition to crabbing and fishing for white perch part time, Buck holds a full time job with the State of Maryland and when he retires, he will “die a full time waterman.” Without the help of his wife, who helps run the boat in the early morning hours and tends the crab house and shedding operation when he is at work, it wouldn’t be possible for him to do what he loves.
“Being a waterman is like being a part of the Bay, you’re just another one of those critters that need it to survive by riding the tide every day.”
Waterman Moochie Gilmer has been harvesting clams from his boat, In Lieu Of, since 1988. Moochie primarily works the waters of the Chester River and Eastern Bay and makes has made his living by providing razor clams to crabbers to be used as bait. Over the last couple of years, the soft shell clam population has rebounded enough to once again make them a viable harvest option as well. Moochie is very active in the watermen community on Kent Island, where he lives, as well as in the state wide waterman community. Over the years he has been appointed to serve on numerous fishery related advisory committees for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and has served as president of the local Watermen’s Association for Queen Anne’s County.
John VanAlstine has been a Maryland commercial waterman for over 20 years. Like most watermen, John harvests what the season allows at any given time. From his home port of Shady Side, MD, John catches multiple species of fish from pound nets, crabs and raises oysters on his private leased bottom. The oysters provided today were harvested yesterday from his lease in the West/Rhode River in Anne Arundel County. In addition to commercial fishing, John also operates a home-based retail business, ValAlstine Seafood and Farm, where he sells seafood that he harvests and other animal proteins that he raises himself. John is also very active within the waterman community. he spends many hours serving on various fishery related advisory committees and working with the Annapolis Maritime Museum to educate children about the Chesapeake Bay and the waterman's way of life. For more information about John and his work visit his facebook page: www.facebook.com/VanAlstineSeafoodAndFarm
Captain Dale “Simon” Dean and Captain Rachel Dean, owners and operators of Patuxent River Seafood, have truly built their business “from the water up.” In 1993, Simon began working for “Bunky” Connor in the waters of the Patuxent River using various harvesting methods. While working on the Miss Teri, Kathy C., and Aldor, Simon earned his United States Coast Guard Captain’s License and a Commercial Tidal Fish License. Captain Rachel Dean acquired her Commercial Tidal Fish license and United States Coast Guard Credentials in 2004 after working on various vessels including the Elizabeth S., Bay King, Sandra Marie, and Chesapeake Charm. Captains Simon and Rachel met in 2001 and married in 2008. In 2009, they purchased and prepared the Roughwater, a 40’ working Chesapeake Baybuilt. Patuxent River Seafood harvests and sells oysters, rockfish (striped bass), soft crabs, and hard crabs to various local restaurants and markets. Rachel and Simon also started Solomons Island Heritage Tours to give people the opportunity to experience life on the Chesapeake Bay as a waterman and give them an understanding of the integral part they play in the history and economy of Maryland. They are both active members of the Calvert County Watermen's Association where Rachel serves as the association's secretary and Simon is a member of the board of directors.
The Old Line Fish Company LLC (OLFC, LLC) is a division of the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that plans, promotes and implements science-based and sustainable shellfish restoration, aquaculture and wild fishery activities to protect our environment, support our economy and preserve our cultural heritage.